We had a fire on Wednesday night. While sitting outside, about an hour after sunset, we heard about 50 gunshots just a few blocks away. We sat there and hoped for them to stop, but they kept coming.
When they finally stopped, we listened and waited for police sirens, but didn’t hear any. The strange thing is, it didn’t occur to us to call the police either.
When a society is broken, it sounds like that. It sounds like gun shots in a neighborhood where kids are heading to bed. It sounds like the normalcy of gun violence that no authorities are called.
I used to think that “those people”, the ones shooting the guns, were bad. But after living in the 53206 zip code for a decade, I now realize we have let down an entire zip code. Systemic racism is so much more than one issue. From birth, a Black child in the 53206 zip code has a disadvantage and that isn’t right. There are parts of our society that don’t work for many and that must make us all challenge it all to make it better.
Alex and I talk about how the 53206 zip code is broken and how we all need to play a part to fix it in our recent podcast. Because there are so many pieces that need fixing, it can become overwhelming, really overwhelming. This is our time to change things. I want to look back on this time and know I did all I could to end systemic racism.
Change starts with us noticing these parts of our society that are broken or maybe have always been broken and then showing others the brokenness. Then we can stand together and demand that the systems changes to be equitable. The idea of ending systemic racism doesn’t have to be intimidating, not if we are noticing injustices around us.